President Shavkat Mirziyoyev got acquainted with the presentation on plans and proposals for the development of potato growing.
Nowadays, the need for potatoes in Uzbekistan is almost 4 million tons. More than 80 % of this volume is provided for domestic production, the rest is got by imports.
High imports are caused by several problems in the sphere. So, today potatoes are grown on 253 thousand hectares, and the average yield is 163 centners per hectare. This is a very low figure compared to other countries.
Another problem is related to the use of seeds. Due to limited access to elite seeds and R1 seeds, the population and farms have to plant imported or low-quality local ones. There is a lack of sown land and greenhouses for growing high-yielding seed potatoes, as well as warehouses for its storage. There are no laboratories to test for viruses and bacterial diseases that cause yield reduction.
Following the meeting, the proposals to address these pressing issues, develop potato production and its seed production were discussed.
There are 250 different varieties of potatoes in the national gene pool, 4 enterprises and research institutes have begun to create domestic seeds from 27 varieties.
One of them is Uzbekistan – Korean joint venture in Samarkand. To expand its capabilities, at the first stage, it is planned to allocate 500 hectares in Bulungur, Taylak and Samarkand districts, as well as 2 thousand hectares in Bostanlyk district of Tashkent Region, Bakhmal and Zaamin districts of Jizzakh Region, Kitab and Shakhrisabz districts of Kashkadarya Region.
To develop seed production, it is planned to build greenhouses and refrigerated warehouses with an area of 4 hectares at the Research Institute of Vegetable, Melon Crops and Potato and an area of 1 hectare at the Green Korea Agro Invest enterprise in Samarkand. These projects are funded by the World Bank, and a full cycle of growing potato seeds using the in vitro method will be established.
A Potato Seed Center will be created on the principle of “science – education – production” at Samarkand branch of Tashkent State Agrarian University. A $4 million laboratory will be launched to detect latent viruses and evaluate potato quality indicators.
It was noted that as a result of the implementation of such measures, the domestic demand for seed potatoes will be fully satisfied from 2025.
The President approved these proposals and gave instructions to increase the production of seed potatoes and improve their quality.
The Ministry of Agriculture was tasked with distributing 500 tons of elite potato seeds free of charge to 1,700 households, as well as allocating preferential financial resources to potato producers.